The Tyson Foods plant in Chicago will get a new life not long after Tyson opted to shut down the facility. An estimated 480 jobs were at risk. But now the plant has been sold to OSI Food Solutions based in nearby Aurora. OSI paid $7.4 million for the asset. Company officials said it may be able to retain many of the 480 jobs. OSI Food Solutions says it can make good use of the Tyson facility because it fits well into the overall OSI infrastructure as one of the largest meat processing companies in the world. The 200,000-square-foot facility holds several key advantages for OSI, including its nearby location in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. Tyson Foods was using a food facility to make prepared meals sold in the hospitality sector.
It made such items as tempura chicken, chicken cordon bleu, crepes, meatballs, soups, omelets, sauces and other pre-prepared products.OSI Food Solutions is largely known as a mass processor of beef, chicken and pork. Among its most famous customers is McDonald’s. It has been supplying the famous burger giant with fresh hamburger patties since the 1950s. While OSI was long viewed as a “McDonald’s-centric” operation, it has branched out to become a highly diverse supplier of a multifaceted range of prepared food products. Thus, it’s not surprising that OSI would have a keen interest in the Tyson plant and the type of product it is configured to supply.
From its world headquarters in Aurora, OSI Food Solutions manages some 70 facilities in 17 countries. It employs 20,000 people globally. Forbes listed OSI at No. 58 on its survey of the largest privately-owned American food companies. It reports annual income north of $6 billion. Tyson officials said one of the reasons they sold the plant to OSI was a “limited capability” to meet changing customer demands. However, OSI Food Solutions places a heavy emphasis on doing just that. A core element of the OSI strategy is fostering an ability to be nimble and change quickly with modern food trends and customer tastes. OSI officials said acquiring the Tyson plant fits in well well with its overall growth strategy.